I’m in the beginning third of a book called When to Walk Away by Gary Thomas. One thing that stands out to me with clarity in his book is how many clever ways one can be distracted from his work/calling.
In the scriptures today I make note of the offerings brought in for the Lord. Paragraph after paragraph describing the offering brought in each day. The Lord speaks to Moses, telling him, 5 “Receive their gifts, and use these oxen and wagons for transporting the Tabernacle. Distribute them among the Levites according to the work they have to do.” 6 So Moses took the wagons and oxen and presented them to the Levites. 7 He gave two wagons and four oxen to the Gershonite division for their work …” (Numbers 7:5-7, NLT) My takeaway focuses on: offerings for the Lord being used/redistributed for other work, obedience, kingdom focus.
In the psalms, a sense of abandonment, despair, attack, longing for God and crying out. But these pieces, they pull me back to the Lord, to a kingdom focus.
7 I hear the tumult of the raging seas
as your waves and surging tides sweep over me.
8 But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me,
and through each night I sing his songs,
praying to God who gives me life. (Psalm 42:7-8, NLT)
3 Send out your light and your truth;
let them guide me.
Let them lead me to your holy mountain,
to the place where you live.
4 There I will go to the altar of God,
to God—the source of all my joy.
I will praise you with my harp,
O God, my God! (Psalm 43:3-4, NLT)
In Song of Solomon,
2 I slept, but my heart was awake,
when I heard my lover knocking and calling:
“Open to me, my treasure, my darling,
my dove, my perfect one …”
She questions, she wonders, she delays. There’s no doubt of her passion and desire, but in the wait an opportunity is lost.
4 My lover tried to unlatch the door,
and my heart thrilled within me.
5 I jumped up to open the door for my love,
and my hands dripped with perfume.
My fingers dripped with lovely myrrh
as I pulled back the bolt.
6 I opened to my lover,
but he was gone!
My heart sank. (Song of Solomon 5:2, 4-6, NLT)
In Hebrews 5 explains that a high priest is chosen, presenting gifts to God, offering sacrifices, and dealing gently with people. “4 And no one can become a high priest simply because he wants such an honor. He must be called by God for this work, just as Aaron was.
7 While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God. 8 Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered.” (Hebrews 5:4, 7-8, NLT)
All of these scriptures remind me to focus. People and circumstances, my very own heart and even a momentary hesitation can take me off course, distract me, and take my eyes off calling and kingdom work.
Lord, an enemy delights that I would live powerless, fruitless, indecisive and wandering. But you remind me of a bigger picture, a calling piece that fits within it. There are lots of people and things that can distract me, but I want to lock my eyes on you. You remind me repeatedly to focus on your kingdom, to focus on you, the true source of all my joy. I don’t want to live dulled by distraction.